Why does cold weather cause colds?

I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I recently read that things like going outside with wet hair on cold winter days does not increase risk of getting a cold. Why then is it that there are more people with colds in the winter?
Asked by Linda Brunet
Day 098: Lung donation please? by Jess and Colin, on Flickr
I’m just north of Detroit, Michigan, USA, so I’m not far on the other side of the border! What you heard is correct—the correlation between illness and the winter season has to do with our proximity to others and not the temperature outside (or on our heads, as with the wet hair). One of the strongest theories about why we tend to have more colds in the winter is because we stay indoors more. When we’re indoors, we’re closer to other people. Those other people have germs that spread and voila! We catch a cold.

This webpage [http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2008/CommonCold.htm] has a fascinating history of the myth.

Article by Kim Lacey

February 27, 2013

With a PhD from Detroit’s Wayne State University, Kim Lacey from Detroit, USA, knows a thing or two about memory studies, digital media and digital humanities. She also has a serious addiction to combo plates at restaurants. You can read about Kim at kimberlylacey.com or follow her on Twitter at @kimlacey.


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